"humongous" earth movers busily load and unload thousands of cubic yards
of "dusty" dirt, he said.
The "fine silt" covers surrounding cars, roofs and foliage. "It's just
all over," he said. "It looks like my tree leaves are gray."
The problem grew so bad last week that the South Coast Air Quality
Management District warned the developer, the Robert Mayer Corp., to
clean up its act, district spokesman Bill Kelly said.
Although Kelly considers "fugitive dust" a minor "nuisance," repeat
violators of air quality regulations could face fines of as much as
$50,000 per day, he said.
One way to control the dust is to water down the dirt, but too much water
creates another mess -- mud, said Miller of public works.
Either way, residents near construction sites will grumble.
"People are going to be unhappy when it's too wet and people are going to
be unhappy when it's too dry," said Steve Bone, president of the Mayer
And the sour mood spreads, like dust.
City Councilman Tom Harman works at the office complex near the new
Seacliff Shopping Center, under construction at the corner of Main Street
and Yorktown Avenue. "I've had to wash my car three times a week," he
If Harman had his way, 10 water trucks working 24 hours a day would
control the dust at construction sites, but he realizes that may be too
Reif doesn't care about the developers' cost of managing fugitive dust.
"It's not cheap," he said. "But I don't give a damn that they're trying
to spend as little money as possible."